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Kyle Busch sets NASCAR record in Bristol

by Pete McCole
Saturday, August 21, 2010

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A young Kyle Busch fan shows her support of her driver.  The sign says it all
Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Kyle Busch etched his name into the NASCAR record books on Saturday night with an historic three-race sweep, becoming the first driver ever to win in all three of the sport’s top series in a single weekend, capping off the trifecta with a dominating victory in the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Following up his worst-to-first victory in the Camping World Truck Series 200-lap event on Wednesday night, Busch went two-for-two on Friday with a win in the Nationwide Series race to move one step closer to a shot at history, and finally cashed in on Saturday night.

Busch took the lead from David Reutimann with 72 laps to and was never challenged through the remaining laps to score his 19th career victory and his third of the 2010 season.

“I love Bristol and I love winning.  And to do it for the first time ever in NASCAR, to sweep the weekend, man, that’s pretty awesome,” said Busch in Victory Lane. “I’ve been trying to do this since I got to NASCAR, since I got my NASCAR career.  Fortunately, tonight I was able to get it done, be the first one to do it.  I’m the first in a lot of things.

“It's pretty cool because when you come so close and then don't get it, it's pretty frustrating. I mean, last year we won the truck race and were leading the Nationwide race and we got crashed out, and then we ended up winning the Cup race. So this is probably a year delayed.”

Reutimann held off Jaime McMurray for second, with Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne making up the rest of the top five.

Although Kyle Busch’s name is already in the NASCAR record books – several times over - the three-series sweep is an accolade he’s been chasing for six years.

Busch more than proved that no one would stand in his way with his win during Friday night’s Nationwide race, where he admittedly “dumped” Brad Keselowski with 32 laps to and went on to the checkered flag.

Keselowski - currently on probation for the rest of the year after on-track run-ins with Carl Edwards – mocked Busch during the pre-race driver introductions, but maintained his cool during the race, passing up several chances for retaliation as Busch lapped him.

While Busch was the car to beat in the second half of the race, polesitter Jimmie Johnson was the class of the field early on, leading 127 of the first 129 laps. Johnson and Busch then swapped the lead no less than six time over the next 28 laps before Busch regained the top spot on lap 256 with a bold three-wide pass on Johnson and Reutimann.

Shortly after a restart on lap 200, Johnson was hit from behind by Juan Pablo Montoya, sending Johnson’s Chevrolet hard into the outside wall and to the garage, where he spent nearly 85 laps repairing the damage and ended up finishing 35th.

Reutimann briefly led the field as the race came down to 100 laps to go and soon found himself trading paint with Busch in a side-by-side battle before Busch finally re-took the lead on lap 429.

Despite a bout with food poisoning earlier in the weekend, Reutimann managed to hold his ground against Busch but in the end couldn’t hold him off.

“It's just me trying to stay ahead of him and getting back to the gas a little early.  We got together, but we were just racing.  It's no big deal,” said Reutimann. “If you race Kyle (Busch), you know you're going to get run into at some point.  That's just kind of the way it is.  So it's no big deal, we're just racing.

“When he got by me, I just got loose, I made a mistake, and we were -- he was getting faster and we were getting tighter, so I think we were just prolonging the inevitable.  I just made a mistake, got a little loose up off the corner, got to the gas too quick, got too aggressive and he was there to pounce on it, and the rest is history.”

With three races left before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, Bristol was seen as a tipping point for those trying to race their way into the 12th and final spot in the Chase.

Hanging onto the 12th spot by just 35 points over Mark Martin coming into Saturday night’s race, Bowyer fought back from an early pit road speeding penalty to finish fourth while Martin limped home in 23rd position and dropped to 14th while McMurray jumped to the 13th spot, 100 points behind Bowyer.

“I want to make the Chase, but there's nothing you can do,” said McMurray. “We drove as hard as we could tonight and finished third, and I don't think we really gained any points.  But two races left, a lot can happen, so we'll just have to wait and see.  It certainly is a better position to be in right now for us because there only is one person we have to pass.  When you have three or four in between you, you have to hope all of them have something bad happen to all them.”

And something bad happening is exactly what several drivers near the front of the Chase field experienced Saturday night.

Besides Johnson, Tony Stewart got caught up in an early incident and lost several laps in the pits, finishing 27th. Denny Hamlin also had trouble, coming home 34th after spending 27 laps in the garage.

Both drivers dropped two positions in the points standings behind points leader Kevin Harvick, who battled an ill-handling race car to a 14th-place finish. He now leads Jeff Gordon by 279 points, followed by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Hamlin.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 19 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Doublemint 195/10 500 Running
2 5 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 175/5 500 Running
3 7 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 170/5 500 Running
4 24 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Hamburger Helper 165/5 500 Running
5 11 9 Kasey Kahne Ford Budweiser 155/0 500 Running
6 6 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Wix Filters 150/0 500 Running
7 8 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 146/0 500 Running
8 21 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 142/0 500 Running
9 20 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite / Vortex 138/0 500 Running
10 14 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal Black 134/0 500 Running
11 26 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 135/5 500 Running
12 2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 127/0 500 Running
13 27 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 124/0 500 Running
14 28 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 121/0 500 Running
15 18 83 Reed Sorenson Toyota Red Bull 118/0 500 Running
16 16 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 115/0 500 Running
17 9 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 112/0 500 Running
18 3 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 109/0 500 Running
19 15 12 Brad Keselowski Dodge Penske Racing 106/0 500 Running
20 22 47 Marcos Ambrose Toyota Bush's Best Baked Beans / Kingsford 103/0 500 Running
21 12 98 Paul Menard Ford CertainTeed / Menards 100/0 500 Running
22 33 34 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's 102/5 498 Running
23 13 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / GoDaddy.com 99/5 498 Running
24 31 26 Jeff Green Ford Air National Guard 91/0 497 Running
25 25 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Mobil 1 88/0 497 Running
26 34 38 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 85/0 495 Running
27 4 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Old Spice 87/5 494 Running
28 39 37 Tony Raines Ford A&W All American Food 79/0 492 Running
29 41 19 Elliott Sadler Ford Hunt Brothers Pizza 76/0 491 Running
30 29 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Farm American 73/0 489 Running
31 10 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Valvoline 70/0 488 Running
32 38 6 David Ragan Ford UPS 67/0 486 Running
33 23 82 Scott Speed Toyota Red Bull 64/0 486 Running
34 17 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 61/0 473 Running
35 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 63/5 415 Running
36 40 7 Kevin Conway * Toyota SpeedFactory.-tv / Extenze 55/0 212 In Pit
37 42 71 Landon Cassill Chevrolet TaxSlayer.com 52/0 129 In Pit
38 30 09 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 49/0 118 Running
39 43 13 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 46/0 58 Out of Race
40 37 207 Robby Gordon Toyota SpeedFactory.tv 43/0 50 Out of Race
41 36 164 Todd Bodine Toyota Gunselman Motorsports 40/0 47 In Pit
42 32 66 Scott Riggs Toyota Prism Motorsports 37/0 32 In Pit
43 35 55 Michael McDowell Toyota Prism Motorsports 34/0 16 Out of Race

* Denotes Rookie

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